Falling For Your Madness by Katharine Grubb
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Where I got the book: purchased on my Kindle.
WARNING. I am Katharine Grubb's critique partner. You are therefore free to disregard the oncoming gush of superlatives, or on the other hand if you know me well enough, you'll realize I'm quite happy to sacrifice a friend on the altar of good writing and that the five stars were EARNED. I've been dying to tell you guys about this one.
Plot: Laura meets David at a party and realizes there is something very different about him. Could be the British accent (despite the fact that he's American) or the formal clothing. Could be his declaration that he's in the marriage market and his very strict guidelines about precisely how he wants the wooing process to go forward. Or is it that handsome, eccentric David puts all the power in the relationship into Laura's hands, gives her flowers, values her opinion and respects her boundaries? As Laura falls deeper in love with David, she realizes that the reasons for his wonderfully old-fashioned behavior may be more complex than she could imagine...
This is likely to be the best antidote to Fifty Shades of Grey that you'll come across for some time. If you think you'll bite your Kindle if you have to encounter one more nasty, abusive, manipulative male lead, then I suggest you sink into this delightful rom-com instead of downloading the next FSOG clone. Falling For Your Madness has some serious things to say about how relationships SHOULD be conducted, with each side respecting and building up the other, but manages never to be preachy. I think it's because David and Laura are both so adorable--and there are so many funny moments--that you get to a point where nothing matters. Even the fact that Grubb built a Hilton in my little Main Street town. I can live with fantasy Libertyville.
And we are, for much of the novel's second half, in fantasy land. Things get a little bit silly at times; as a Brit, I could have done without the inclusion of the Royal Family, but I accept that for many readers the references to the Arthurian legends will be a welcome addition. I know how fond you Yanks are of our royals AS LONG AS THEY'RE NOT RULING YOU.
I appreciated Grubb's attention to quality; the novel is nicely edited and the formatting is clean, although the font sizing is a little odd on my older Kindle. That could be a backwards compatibility issue, but it's not a serious one. Altogether a praiseworthy indie debut, with the feel-good warmth of a Ryan/Hanks movie wrapped around a message that deserves to be delivered to all the young women who are being taught by the current culture that a hot body makes up for a lack of personality and charm, and that a handsome face somehow deserves to walk all over your worthless self. Recommended.
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